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The Top 12 Benefits of Live Streaming Church Services in 2021

By Philline Managuelod

17 Min Read

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Philline Managuelod

Philline was a marketing intern at Dacast and helped the marketing team in various areas: SEO, SEM, content production.

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      Thousands of houses of worship and churches are broadcasting their services online to tap into the many benefits of online streaming. If you are not familiar with online streaming you may be wondering what exactly are the benefits of live streaming church services.

      In this post, we will explore some of the reasons why churches and congregations are increasingly choosing to use live video. We will take a look at 12 specific benefits of live streaming church services, including increasing online presence, reaching homebound parishioners, and more.

      Table of Contents

      • Top Benefits of Online Church Services
        1. Reach Parishioners from Afar
        2. Serve the Homebound
        3. Expand Your Reach
        4. Bypass Space Limitations
        5. Connect with the Youth
        6. Host Community Events
        7. Capture Services for the Archive
        8. Expand Your Online Presence
        9. It’s Cost-Effective
        10. Raise Funds
        11. Provide New Ways to Engage
        12. All Device Access
      • Bonus: Live Stream Christmas Programs
      • How to Live Stream with Zoom
      • Conclusion

      Top Benefits of Online Church Services

      benefits of live streaming for churches
      Check out the top 12 benefits of live streaming church services.

      Technology has helped churches worldwide reach a greater audience than ever before. Among other benefits of live church broadcasts, people can follow their church and attend Sunday services even if they are physically unable to go. Members can worship from anywhere in the globe.

      Let’s take a look at these and other benefits of online church service streaming.

      1. Reach Parishioners from Afar

      Not everyone has the ability to physically attend services on Sundays. Many people are restricted by the need to travel for work, by school, or something else. Some may be on overseas missions.

      One of the benefits of live streaming for churches is that working, traveling, or military families who are always on the go can also keep in touch with their congregation. These people who are far away from their community often need the support and guidance that their church provides. 

      Broadcasting live church services will help involve members of your community both near and far. It’s the next best thing to being right there in the room with you.

      2. Serve the Homebound

      Many churchgoers may not be able to attend Sunday services in-person, including the sick, the disabled, and the elderly.

      These people are usually the ones that church groups want to reach out to the most. They need the support and companionship that ministers and other members can give. 

      Live streaming church services can help these people feel more connected to the church community, especially through their toughest times.

      3. Expand Your Reach

      As the website ChurchLeaders explains, some churches fear that live streaming will decrease the in-person attendance of services. However, the opposite is actually true. Around 30% of people who watch a live stream event will attend in person the following year. That means that live streaming is one of the best ways to expand your audience.

      Starting a live broadcast or creating a video on demand channel means that new community members can access your church service. You can reach potential members without making them feel any pressure to commit. Some people that may feel intimidated by going to church can slowly integrate themselves into the community.

      There are also cases where churchgoers who watch the services online end up returning to the church. In these scenarios, they realize that they want to be in the physical church so they start attending again.

      4. Bypass Space Limitations

      In-person church services are usually limited by the physical restrictions of a particular space. Your congregation may have 500 members, but your venue can only hold 200 people. 

      Live streaming solutions can make your space bigger by allowing hundreds, even thousands, of people to virtually attend your service.

      5. Connect with the Youth

      Aside from the committed churchgoers, live broadcasting can also reach younger people from outside of the community. Many people search for churches or communities online that can make them feel part of a group. 

      Over 56% of young Christians research online churches or religious organizations. This is where your church can reach out to these people and help them feel connected and supported.

      people, and the increasing number of older people who are on social platforms today as well.

      For any organization, working with young people is very important. Millennials are the largest group of consumers of live content. 

      About 63% of people ages 18-34 are watching live-streaming content regularly, and these numbers are growing fast. Compared to a year ago, 47% of live streaming video viewers are watching more live videos now than ever.

      6. Host Community Events

      church streaming services
      Get creative with church-sponsored community events. 

      Many churches are looking to expand their online presence beyond their regularly scheduled. Some are making an effort to engage on social media, and others are hosting virtual events to involve the community. 

      Churches can use live streaming to host webinars, virtual retreats, bible studies, and more. For events that require video chatting or personal interactions, peer-to-peer streaming comes in handy. Church broadcasters can access peer-to-peer streaming by integrating their live streaming platforms with Zoom.

      7. Capture Services for the Archive

      When you live stream Sunday services, you can record and archive them so people who missed the live service can watch later on-demand.

      On some platforms, you can also create custom playlists. You can have a playlist specifically for choir concerts, Bible studies, lecture events, or whatever you see fit. This will make your community more engaged and connected to the church even if it’s not Sunday. 

      Relatedly, what if you want to make content available for your congregants at any time of the night or day, anywhere in the world? In that case, you can broadcast live 24/7 with pre-recorded content to fill the gaps in between services and events.

      8.  Expand Your Online Presence

      Digital marketing is becoming more popular in every industry, so it is no surprise that churches and houses of worship are using video content to expand their organizations.

      Churches can use live and on-demand hosting to create marketing content outside of their typical online church services. This can help build an online community that can serve as a safe place for people to connect.

      You can also monetize this online community to raise funds for the church and related causes.

      Social media is also a great way to promote your church. You can embed your live streams directly on Facebook as well as your website. It’s a great way to get in touch with the younger crowd.

      9. It’s Cost-Effective

      One of the common myths of live streaming is that it is extremely expensive. However, nothing could be further from the truth. With some basic equipment, it’s possible to get up and running. High-quality streaming is possible with just a small initial investment in gear.

      The price of broadcasting live also depends on the streaming provider you choose. Some services are quite expensive, while others are very affordable. 

      For example, Dacast’s pricing plans start at only $39 per month for an introductory plan that is perfectly suitable for small congregations. An upgraded plan for larger churches will cost around $188/month, depending on the features you need.

      When you think of the potential cost relative to the attendance of an in-person event vs. an online church service, it’s much more affordable to stream online.

      10. Raise Funds

      One of the most beautiful parts of coming together as a church community is the power to make a difference. Many churches and religious organizations support different causes to empower and uplift disadvantaged members of the community. Some even support organizations for global change.

      Online church video streams can be monetized in several ways to raise funds for these causes. Three of the most popular video monetization methods are advertisements, pay-per-view, and subscriptions.

      Charging for access to Sunday services can come across as a little greedy. However, charging admission to special virtual events is totally acceptable, especially since Churches often sell tickets to church-sponsored events.

      11. Provide New Ways to Engage

      Interactive live streaming events are great for giving parishioners new ways to engage. For example, somebody who can only make it to the in-person service on Sundays may find it enriching to tune into weekday Bible study streams that they don’t have time to attend in person.

      Audio-only streaming is another interesting approach that you can take here. It allows members of the community to casually listen in as if they were tuning into a podcast or radio show. 

      This allows them to more easily incorporate their faith in their everyday actions since it’s less restrictive than sitting down to watch a video.

      12. All Device Access

      Live streaming with the standard HTML5 video player makes it easy to reach viewers on all different devices. You can broadcast to phones, tablets, smart TVs, and computers.

      Millennials are most likely to watch live video on a smartphone (56%) or tablet (44%), but the use of internet-connected “smart TVs” is on the rise, too. Computers are increasingly just used for work, not recreation or watching videos.

      Therefore, look for an online video platform with native support for playback on all devices. This will allow you to reach your community anytime, anywhere.

      Bonus: Live Stream Christmas Programs

      church live streaming solution
      Stream special events and programs around the holidays.

      In order to keep the holiday cheer alive, you can live stream your church’s Christmas programs virtually, allowing your congregation to attend from home.

      Many churches host in-person Christmas programs and events but live stream the functions to allow the congregation to attend from home. 

      How to Live Stream with Zoom

      Zoom is among the most popular peer-to-peer conferencing tools, but on its own, it is not capable of the advanced streaming that professional online video platforms are. However, some online video platforms, including Dacast, can be integrated with Zoom to give broadcasters access to the best of both tools.

      Streaming via a Zoom integration is a great tool for hosting smaller, more intimate online church services

      Let’s run through the four steps for live streaming an event with the Zoom live streaming integration on Dacast.

      Please note that this tutorial requires you to have a  Zoom Pro, Business, Education, or Enterprise account to access the “Custom Live Streaming Service” Zoom feature.

      Step 1: Create Your Dacast Live Stream

      Please note that this tutorial requires you to have a  Zoom Pro, Business, Education, or Enterprise account to access the “Custom Live Streaming Service” Zoom feature.

      Log in to your Dacast account, and go to the “Live Stream” section on the left-side vertical menu. Click “Create Live Stream” on the right side of your screen. Enter a stream name, then select the type of stream. Click “Create”:

      Your live stream should now appear in your live streams list. You can manage the stream by clicking the “Edit” icon on the right side.

      Step 2: Enable “Live on Custom Live Streaming Service” 

      Log in to your Zoom account. On the vertical menu to the left navigate to Admin. Click “Account Management” then “Account Settings.” 

      In the section “In Meeting (Advanced)” under the meeting tab, turn on the option “Allow Live Streaming Meetings,” and check the sub-option “Custom Live Streaming Service”:

      Dacast - Zoom live streaming - enable live stream

      Update the instructions so that the meeting organizer can configure the required settings when scheduling the meeting. You can find these instructions in your Dacast account.  Edit the live channel you want to use to stream the Zoom meeting.

      Under the “General” tab, click “Encoder Setup,” and use the copy icon to copy and paste the required values into your Zoom account:

      Make sure to use the following format: 

      Stream URL: rtmp://{Username}:{Password}@{Server (without rtmp://)}

      Stream key: {Stream Key}

      Live streaming page URL: you can use your website URL or the Share Link in the General tab of the live stream.

      This is what it should look like:

      Zoom Set Up Dacast Example

      Step 3: Set Up Your Zoom Custom Live Streaming Meeting 

      On your Zoom account, click “Meetings” then “Schedule a New Meeting.” Enter the required information, and click “Save” to display advanced options:

      At the bottom of the page, click the “Live Streaming” tab. Then, click the “Configure Live Stream Settings” link:

      Zoom live streaming - Zoom Meeting Launch

      Apply the information in the green box in accordance with the format we provided in Step 2:

      Dacast - Zoom live streaming - configure the custom live stream

      Click “Save” to save your live streaming settings. Now, the host will be able to live stream this meeting without having to add these settings after the beginning of the event.

      Step 4: Start Streaming 

      On your Dacast account, make sure that the live stream used for the meeting is set to “Online”:

      zoom live stream online

      Open the Zoom application or web portal, and start your meeting. At the bottom of the Zoom window, click the “•••” icon and select “Live on Custom Live Streaming Service.” 

      If the Streaming URL, Streaming key, and Streaming page URL have not been entered at this point, Zoom will open a window where you can paste these values from the Encoder Setup section of your Dacast live stream.

      Once you have your Zoom and Dacast accounts connected and all of your settings configured, you are now ready to live stream your Zoom meeting straight to your website via Dacast.

      Conclusion

      There are many benefits of live streaming church services. Churches can embrace online video technology and use it to spread their ministry. You are no longer bound by any physical or geographic limitations to grow your congregation. 

      With that in mind, why not try live broadcasting to help your church enter the digital era?

      Here at Dacast, we’ve helped a number of faith-based organizations expand the reach of their church teachings through live video broadcasting.

      Interested in testing out the Dacast platform? We offer a 30-day free trial, with no credit card required. You can set up an account and start live streaming your content in a matter of minutes.

      Create a Dacast account to activate your free trial, and start streaming today.

      If you have special concerns about church live streaming, feel free to contact our team directly to discuss your needs. We’re here to help, and would love to walk you through any problems or concerns!
      For more regular tips on live streaming, as well as exclusive offers, you can join our LinkedIn group. Thanks for reading, and best of luck with your live streaming endeavors.
      author avatar

      Philline Managuelod

      Philline was a marketing intern at Dacast and helped the marketing team in various areas: SEO, SEM, content production.

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